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IL: Name Change for Transgender Sex Offender Debated at Seventh Circuit

[ – 11/6/20]

CHICAGO (CN) — A Seventh Circuit panel heard arguments Friday over whether a Wisconsin law barring convicted sex offenders from changing their name amounts to free speech infringement.

The underlying lawsuit was brought in Milwaukee federal court in May 2019 by Karen Krebs, a transgender woman from Kenosha, Wisconsin, who cannot change her name due to a 1992 conviction which required her to register as a sex offender.

Wisconsin law makes it a Class H felony for anyone who is required to register as a sex offender to legally change their name, criminal penalties for which range up to a $10,000 fine and six years in prison.

Krebs, whose forename given at birth is Kenneth, contended that her First Amendment rights are violated by being denied the ability to change her name in order to suit her identity, as she has not gone by her given name since she came out as transgender in 1999.

Her complaint, which named Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley as a defendant, claimed that not being able to go by the name that comports with her self-identity causes her distress and embarrassment and creates confusion whenever she applies for a job, goes to the doctor or manages her finances, forcing her to explain the fact that she is transgender.

U.S. District Court Judge J.P. Stadtmueller, a Ronald Reagan appointee, did not feel Krebs had met the burden of proof to show that Wisconsin’s name-change statute violates her free speech rights and granted summary judgment to Graveley in March of this year.

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How does this not meet burden of proof? She’d like to change her name. The law says she can’t. This isn’t a government document like a passport that’s on lease, allowing the government to put whatever they want on it as it’s the government speaking. This is her name and the government is forcing her to use something she doesn’t wish to. What more proof do you need?

The law prohibiting registrants from legally changing name has always accompanied the sex offender registration act in WI.( 1993 act 98) That is an identifiable affirmative restraint as discussed by the Rehnquist court in Alaska v Doe (Smith V.). Whats more interesting is that the prohibition itself is vindictive by definition. This is so because Wisconsin’s SOR has public space on the registry for alieses\ also known as..publicly available. While most offenders on WISOR do not use anything than their birth names, some offenders have been known by other names AND those aliases are listed too, for public consumption. Therefore the prohibition upon name change is vindictive precisely because any change in name could also be listed, making the prohibition purely for unconstitutional restraint sake.

Agree 100%

My registration with the Wisconsin SORP contains a few alias names. The prohibition against name changes really serves no purpose since there is already a mechanism to cross reference multiple names for a single registrant.

The only thing I can see as a potential reason for keeping the prohibition is regarding victims. By allowing an official name change, it would possibly be more difficult for a victim to take steps to avoid contact with the registrant. For example, when public notice of a registrant moving into an area is made, it’s typically made using the person’s legal name and not their alias(es).

However, as I write the above paragraph I am reminded that Wisconsin also has a mechanism to provide detailed updates to a victim about the person that assaulted them, so it would seem they could easily be notified of any name changes which take place as they occur.

I’ve heard this exceptional concern for victims (you mention the mechanism wDOC has to update victims about everything having to do with their perpetrator) is also their justification for keeping anyone convicted in WI on the registry actively registering even if they move out of state or even out if country. Do you have any thoughts about that?? Any legal tack to attack the perpetual registration for out of staters?? Thanks

While in the Army in Colorado springs i was robbed at gunpoint outside the Korean Club. TMALSS the guy was convicted, caught by doing the same thing on a different persons, and my case was read in of 7 counts.

Why in the hell would i want to know where he is now? I bet now, 30 yrs later , I’d still recognize him but i sure as heck would be afraid nor wish to know. Victim’s who insist on knowing are getting something from it but I am clueless what that something is. It almost defies logic at all.

CA lists aliases as well. I have one listed even though I never used it. It was the cops who misspelled my last name during booking. And now its an official aliase I never used.

SORNA must of anticipated this that’s why they want sex offenders to update there registion 5 days after any type of name change .
Obviously this law has been put in place for women sex offenders who could easily get married and go down to social security office and change there last name the rest of the sex offenders affected by this law are just collateral damage

Good luck

I too have an alias that I had never used. It was made up by the cops.

Sounds good to me. I suppose the criminal regimes feel they are so incompetent that they cannot effectively track a name change. And that people who actually look at the Registries are too stupid to understand it. That is probably correct. But companies have been effectively tracking name changes forever. Take a look at credit reports. Or voting. Hell of a lot more important than the jobs-program Registries.

But what’s with your offensive language? Calling people “offenders”?

Don’t be like the real losers here that insist on calling people names. Such people need to be ignored.

What’s instilled in the heart of many in this much of these deceptive ordeals. Well the bible can tell you all that. This transgender issue ordeal is a game changer just like this whole sex registry scheme or scam. Seems a person isn’t satisfied with their real birth name and wants to play up a klinger type ordeal which would give anyone the woolies or second guess.

One can talk about a chameleon changing spots it would seems that human nature doesn’t play that game. Funny that a transgender wants to be something that the creator didn’t intend that person to be. God only made two genders. Is one talking about a psychological ordeal in this type of game change or did the individual want a change of habit. Talk about vain that is vanity to the max or who know’s the thoughts and intent of “why”.

What a deviant display of wittness rebellion. Consider many of these internet encounters when one is texting to the person on the other end and that person turns out to be a he instead of a she in this game of pretense. Should one go with instinct or basic understand. In my own ordeal I even asked to speak to the person on the phone to hear the person’s voice.

As far as this registry and wanting a person to sign off that they knew they were talking to a girl, teenager person or whatever is a way to incriminate one in much of this registry ordeal with all this paper signing and confusion. This gender effect is a bit out of character in any level of christian character. Its not to say a christian can’t get out of character at times when swayed by unknown forces of a dark world. I believe that would explain a lot of this registry in many of these ordeals.

If the new President coming into office and yes I’m sure many have hopes and pray’s for a new President to lead this county wants to band all these sex traps via thsi internet one can be sure something good will come out of something bad. Janice this would be another way to say let my people go in this type of unethical type of devilish registry means.

@All on here. Now Janice has bought out many pieces to this puzzle and many of these articles are good. Maybe thats the reason I came back on here to help enlighten others in much of this gloom and doom without getting my thorat cut in all this type of sexcapade. Should we all start singing Glory, Glory, Halelujah or is it time to put much of this registry to rest in many ways.

I’m sure a lot of men didn’t like the song By Helen Reddy .. I am woman hear me roar but many mom’s are upset over this registry issue that has uprooted many in much by this overshadowing in this brain washing type of encounter.

So how does one turn a negative into a positive or is gender discression being this bias wittness of self conceit. Janice you’ve hit on a key factor or issue in all this. Your team is in there. While many don’t seem to understand these wirey type internet ordeals it would seem protecting and serving is a bit different than preventing. Hey look at California.

At one time marijuana was illegal in California now Cannabis is used as a medicine and legal. Yes growing was illegal so what about these registry issues. One would tend to understand that this is an issue that treads on biblical issues as well as enticement by devilish means or who is leaning on this evil in this money factor ordeal..One wonders do all men have truth or does much of this whole justice system full of carbolic acid.

In my view you have something their with this article you present and I’m sure many would have to take notice also that reply to this article. I’m sure this registry is getting out of hand in all America and yes we all should put a stop to all this and stand up as preached on here or who is judging fairly or preverting justice?

“I’m sure a lot of men didn’t like that song By Helen Reddy”. Why would men not like the song By Helen Reddy? I had her album when I was a young boy. She had a great voice and her songs often had a good message. I Am Women (1971) was a great song. Please explain what’s wrong with her song and why “Men” wouldn’t like it.

@saddles It’s easy to get hung up on the transgender part of this issue, but that really isn’t the core of the problem. If a person wants to legally change his/her/their name then the reason doesn’t really matter. The fact that the state is forcing them to identify by a name other than the one they choose is the issue. For a person getting married that wants to take on a married name, this will of course create a problem.

It’s also easy to allow ones religious beliefs about transgender people to really get in the way of civil law discussions. Whether someone else’s religious beliefs consider something right or wrong has little to nothing to do with the individual’s civil rights as a citizen of Wisconsin and the USA.

To answer the other question asked of me above about Wisconsin DOC wanting to keep tabs on me and other registrants after we leave the state? I don’t like it, I don’t agree with it, and I don’t know that I alone can change it. That said, Wisconsin does make it extremely easy to update the registry, especially when compared to other states. All it takes is a simple phone call or email to notify them of most changes. Of course, if someone did leave the country legally and notifies Wisconsin of the move, they would certainly be beyond the reach of state.

Yes, Wisconsin has gone way to the extreme trying to “protect victim rights” to the extent that there is a case right now alleging that the recently passed constitutional amendment violates other parts of our constitution by interfering with the rights of the accused.

No kidding, the people of WI are bombarded with media to calls to victimhood. Apparently half of Wisconsin’s population considered themselves a victim of the current National administration.
In the most recent election of our current WI Governor an add campaign against him eluded to his covering up of teacher sex abuse on kids. The attack ad ran on several TV stations and included Case #s for authenticity. Madison is choked with ambulance chasing lawyer types focused especially on sex abuse, auto accidents, work related injury, pharmaceutical poisenings,etc. Even Captain Kirk is in the mix.

Have you read about Jacob Blake and his plea away from the sexual assault charges.

Guess who will not have to register as a sex offender. And perhaps solely because of the leverage created from being shot several times in the back by a cop, and now suffering paralysis. Naturally this case will be jury fodder for my next FTR.

Cant get a job, can’t live where you want, can’t go where you want, can’t travel freely, can’t change your name, can’t defend yourself, and other rights lost in this insanity. What’s next can’t change your gender? Not punishment to People on power trips controlling other people’s lives.

I wish you hadn’t done that Lake. Yes I’m sure some men like the song course dont’ quote me on that one but one wonders how Tom Jones or Trump would react to this feminst song and this culture movement that was on the rise back than when dope smokers were just trying to get by in a nation of unrest. Nothing wrong with the song but it is a type of steryotyping of empowerment if one would like to say Was the timing right for that song? How about this jive talk’n today or rap, etc. I hope we are all not getting off base with this registry problem.
Sure the song can be a strengthing device for a movement that was about to come in the “Me too” movement if one wants to steryotype the Jane Fonda’s and others. Hey doesn’t the one on the registry have a cause also with much and many of these jaded catcher talkings of a sexual norm.

Name changes, gender changes, or transgender changes. Well thats like saying be all you can be in the Army or a Klinger type character in many. See when things and principles get out of balance who is getting the beast ( I apologize for that remark) enlargement in much of this garbage. Didn’t we all just comment or give views of a woman on the registry. Should we all call this whole registry a lot of vanity in many ways.

Nothing wrong with name changes if one wants to go that route such as the Cashus Clay or the Baby Face Nelson or whatever happened to Baby Jane or even this Svengoliee character on TV. One’s view point can be very different from others or is to wonder why gender change or name changes come in many of these character defaults even in many ordeals.

I believe that is the best way for me to explain all this registry or I could use some soap. Will Alan toss me a bar of soap.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x